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tv   Justice Scalia Funeral CNN Special Coverage  CNN  February 20, 2016 7:00am-8:01am PST

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♪ welcome to our special coverage for the funeral of the late u.s. supreme court justice antonin scalia. in an an hour from now, family and friends will celebrate his life and work here in washington, dc. the funeral service begins 11:00 a.m. eastern, followed by a private burial. the 79-year-old was a leading conservative voice on the supreme court for nearly 30 years. he died suddenly a week ago today, in his sleep at a texas hunting resort. known for his sharp mind and brash demeanor, scalia leaves the supreme court transformed by
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his intellect, his ideology and his sheer presence. his family life just as extraordinary as his presence on the high court, scalia leaves behind his wife of 55 years, maureen, their nine children, and their 36 grandchildren. one of his sons is a catholic priest, father paul scalia. he will be leading the mass, delivering the homily later this morning. we will also hear a scripture reading from close friend fellow justice clarence thomas who shared his belief that the constitution should be interpreted as those who drafted it. vice president joe biden will be here as well as other notable lawmakers. before the funeral begins i want to bring in cnn correspondent jake tapper and cnn senior analyst jeffrey toobin.
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scalia's biographer also joins us, she is reuters' legal affairs editor. cnn's carol costello joins us and pamela brown and fairway edward beck are with us as well. jake, this is an important day in american history because he was such a powerful figure on that supreme court. >> there are three ways that justice scalia really touched the lives of people in this country. first of all, in this town he was somebody whose friendships in not dictated by his personal believes. everybody knows that he and ruth bader ginsburg, one of the liberal justices on the court, were, in her words, best buddies. he pushed away the modern convention that you're not allowed to be friends with people of differing political views. second is his keen legal mind. i know jeffrey and joan will have more to say on that. third, for conservatives he was truly a beacon for three
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decades, somebody whose views of the law and the constitution they could follow and admire. and while liberals and conservatives and democrats and republicans came and went in this town, he was always there. >> you can't exaggerate how important he was. >> that's right. every supreme court justice has a vote. and everybody vote is the same. but there are very few justices who leave a legacy of ideas that go well beyond his individual influence. when you talk about originalism, the idea that the constitution should be interpreted as it was understood by the framers, an idea that leads to very conservative results in the modern day, no abortion rates, no gay rights. the other idea is textualism, the idea that laws, that statutes should be interpreted only on their own terms, and that legislative history and the intent of the congress is
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irrelevant, the words alone control. those two ideas will long outlive justice scalia in terms of his legacy. the question, of course, and one reason why the confirmation fight to succeed him is so intense already, is that those ideas are very controversial. and the are not shared by the incumbent democratic administration. so he is an enormous figure, but his ultimate influence has yet to be determined. >> you eewrote, joan, his biography, you spent a lot of time speaking to him and learning about him. give us insight into this unique and unusual jurist. >> he was. a couple of things. one, he was a manifestation of the ronald reagan revolution. what we're seeing is a moment when the revolution could start to fade, because he was such an embodiment of that conservative approach to the law. but then also, this is a good moment for us to be thinking about him beyond the law.
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he used to say he could not separate his intellectual life from his spiritual life. here we'll be watching the pageant of the funeral service for him, and it will be part mozart, part clarence thomas. there will be so much that represents what he was all about personally too. he mentioned to jeff yesterday, they have a beautiful portrait of him in the great hall of the supreme court right now as his body was there in repose, and it was a portrait where he's kind of sitting back in a chair. i never knew him who would be somebody who would sit back in a chair. he was almost always ready to leap out. that was his personality on the law, during oral arguments, ready to seize on the man or woman standing at the lectern and also seize on any kind of legal idea and put his own imprint on it. >> we're looking at these live
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pictures of the basilica of the shrine of the immaculate conception. jake, this is going to be a very traditional catholic service, a catholic mass that will walk through all the traditions that justice scalia loved so much. >> it's a special mass for lawyers and legal scholars and government officials every year. and justice scalia attended that mass more than he attended states of the union addresses. his catholic faith was so important to who he was. his family has so many accounts of how devoted he was to his religion. and in fact, and we'll talk to father edward beck, if i can bring him in from chicago, there was a speak justice scalia gave in 2012 in which he said, if i can quote him for a second, "god assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view christians as fools and he has not been disappointed. if i have brought any message today, it is this, have the courage to have your wisdom be
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regard as stupidity, be fools for christ." what does that mean to you, father beck? >> it means that christ for him, jake, was paramount. he was a staunch catholic, a traditionalist in the same way he was a traditionalist as a justice. he and his family, his wife maureen and his nine children, would travel to go to latin mass, the traditional mass, that's what scalia enjoyed having. you'll hear some latin at today's mass, mostly in song, it will be in english. but his son is a priest, reverend paul scalia from the diocese of arlington will be saying and preaching this mass. i can tell you, as a priest who just priest his own father's funeral and said the mass, it's not an easy thing to do. are you priest or are you son? justice scalia's son today has to be both. he has to stand there and preside at this mass, he has to preach a homily about his
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father, integrating it into the gospel, yet he is also a grieving son who has lost a father. so no easy task for him today. >> but what an honor to be able to do for a father, especially one devoted to catholicism as justice scalia was. carol costello is outside the basilica, tell us about the scene. >> reporter: such a beautiful scene, somber but beautiful. the basilica is the largest catholic church in the united states, in north america, one of the ten largest in the world. a dome on top of the basilica is nearly as large as the capitol dome. you can see many people. that's important, because they're expecting 6,000 people. i just talked to a secret service agent who said yes, we're expecting 6,000 people. the capacity inside the chapel, inside the church, is 4,000. it can seat 3500 people. they've made a standing room only area. and that can accommodate 1,000 more people. so it certainly will be an
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overflow crowd. when justice scalia's body was lying in repose in the grant hall of the supreme court yesterday, they had about 6,000 people pay their respects. the lines at some points were four to five hours long. there was great interest in this man today. among the special guests coming to the mass will be joe biden, the vice president, his wife jill, loretta lynch, the attorney general, dick cheney is expected to come, justices souter and stevens. ted cruz will leave south carolina where he is campaigning to honor justice scalia. justice clarence thomas, as you mentioned, will offer a reading today, as well as leo leonard, one of justice scalia's friends, he is a constitutional scholar.
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justice thomas is also a catholic so that will be quite moving. as reverend beck said, justice scalia's son will deliver the homily. it will be beautiful. back to you. >> it will be a beautiful service indeed, and it's getting ready to be started in washington, dc. you're looking at live pictures. in moments we expect to see justice scalia arriving at the basilica. all the significance, much more of our special coverage right after this. covergirl makes flawless as easy as... one... "tru"... three. with new trublend primer preps and smooths skin
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♪ welcome back. you're looking at live pictures from washington, dc of the basilica of the national shrine of the immaculate conception, the largest catholic church in north america. more than 3,000 mourners will gather for the funeral of supreme court justice antonin scalia. we just saw ted cruz, a former supreme court clerk for judge rehnqui rehnquist, go into the church. father paul scalia, antonin scalia's son, will serve as the celebrant. he will deliver the homily. no eulogy will be given, we're told. yesterday we saw father scalia say a prayer over his father's casket as justice scalia was lying in repose inside the supreme court building. scalia's four other sons will
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also play roles today as pallbearers. father beck, tell us what we're going to see initially and the significance of it for people who are not familiar with a catholic service. >> well, jake, the body of justice scalia will be met at the doors of the basilica. and the casket will be blessed back there. it will be sprinkled with holy water reminiscent of the baptism of justice scalia. justice scalia, by the way, was baptized in the cathedral in trenton, new jersey, that's where he was born. coming to the time of the mass of resurrection, a white pall will be put over the casket, a symbol that he is clothed in christ, sprinkled with holy water. that will be done in silence. the casket will be wheeled down the center aisle followed by his
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family. the bishops, the concelebrating priests, then the funeral mass of resurrection will begin. >> joan biskupic, as a biographer of justice scalia, i wanted to ask you, i heard paul clement, one of justice scalia's former clerks, who has gone on to av quite a legal career of his own, say today on the "smerconish" show, that scalia changed the way there would be oral arguments. before scalia was pointed, there would be one or two questions, but after scalia arrived, that changed. tell us more. >> it's so true, jake, he was always coming out of his chair, as i said. he had a law professor's insistence on questioning, challenging. he did it so vigorously in those early days that then justice lewis powell whispered to
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thurgood marshall, "do you think he thinks the rest of us are here?" because he so dominated. we call it a hot bench. but back in 1986, justice scalia had such youth compared to the other justices. he changed the rhetoric, he changed the challenging nature of it. it occurred to me as a father was speaking about the service that we're about to see, maureen scalia met the justice when they were on the campus in cambridge, when she was a student at r radcliffe and he was at harvard law school. the justice told me what made them click was catholicism. back in the '50s she was going to radcliffe but gave up any
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career to devote herself to family life. that's part of what we're seeing on display today. >> let's bring in jeffrey. >> this is a moment that combines religion and the law, if you will. that was the two most powerful influences on justice scalia. >> and the fact that we're having this service at all is a sign of change at the supreme court. there wasn't even one catholic on the supreme court until just before the civil war with chief justice tawney. and there wasn't a jewish justice until louis brandeis. there were six catholics and three jews on the supreme court. there are no protestants. religion, which was such a dividing influence on american life, is fading somewhat. the fact that is is a
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traditional catholic mass is going without comment, a lot of people are catholic, or jewish, or protestant, it's not as big a deal as it once was. >> once a critic of how homogenous the supreme court was in terms of law schools, elite, ivy league law schools, was scalia. he thought there should be more people from other law schools, no offense. >> none taken. >> and he was someone who wanted different kinds of people. >> when justice alito replaced justice o'connor, all nine n justices were former court of appeals justice. before in t1994, none of the ni
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justices had been a judge before. it used to be a more professionally diverse group. now there is not much diversity on the supreme court when it comes to professional background, law school, and whatnot. >> some of them may have gone to harvard but others went to yale. that's about the diversity of the u.s. supreme court. coming up, a closer look at justice scalia's decades of service, the friendships he's made. much more of our special coverage after this.
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looking at live pictures of the basilica. the funeral services getting ready to start in a half hour or so from now. justice antonin scalia left all of us with a valuable lesson, a lesson that friendship can transcend, he often said, any differences we had. that especially rang true with the woman scalia often called his best buddy, ruth bader ginsburg. even though they disagreed, they changed some harsh words from time to time, the enormous respect was very evident, the admiration and friendship was clear to all of those who watched them up close. as we await the start of the funeral, we can expect that message to resonate loudly and clearly at the service during the sacrament of the communion. the church is calling catholics, fellow christians and non-christians alike to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for a unity of the human
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family, something scalia strived for for his entire life. let's bring back all of our experts. joan biskupic, you spent so much time with him. you have to assume if he were watching this right now, he would be so, so thrilled. >> he would be thrilled and would be offering commentary, with a few dissents. he always had something to say. we were talking about business italian-american heritage. he was the first italian american justice. and i remember him telling me about the first time he had gone back to italy after his confirmation, and there was a parade down a main street. he was, you know, honored in every way. and he got up on some balcony and they were cheering, and he said two things, he said, first, he thought he believed that the crowd might have believed he was ronald reagan, they were giving him so much praise.
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the other thing he said, "i felt like mussolini." that was him, he loved paneli pageantry, he loved to be the center of attention. he was the only child of his parents but also the only offspring of his generation. he had the spotlight early. and even in death he has not left it. >> he was the pride of queens in new york. i guess he has some new york values, if you will, at the same time, growing up in queens, in elmhurst. that came throughout his entire life. >> another weird fact about the current supreme court is there are four new york city boroughs represented on the supreme court. justice scalia was from queens, ruth ginsburg is from brooklyn, sonia sotomayor is from the bronx. tragically, staten island is unrepresented, maybe that will be addressed by the new
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appointment. justice scalia loved being from new york, another reason that he and justice ginsburg had a shared experience of growing up. he once told me that in his day, he went to school in manhattan, high school in manhattan, and he took rivalfleriflery. as he used to take his rifle on the subway to school everyday. in perhaps his most famous opinion as a supreme court just case was the heller case where he said in 2008 that the second amendment does protect an individual's right to bear arms. maybe that goes back to his riflery training when he was a kid. >> on long island, he used to shoot rabbits with his grandpa. he's always had a sportsman thing going on. >> we're waiting for the funeral service to begin. when we come back, we'll talk it to our experts about what transitions we can expect and
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the significance to the service. plus who is honoring the late justice scalia, when our coverage begins after this quick break. ♪ we stop arthritis pain, so you don't have to stop. because you believe in go. onward. today's the day. carpe diem. tylenol® 8hr arthritis pain has two layers of pain relief. the first is fast. the second lasts all day. we give you your day back. what you do with it is up to you. tylenol®. so i asked about adding once-daily namenda xr to her current treatment for moderate to severe alzheimer's. it works differently. when added to another alzheimer's treatment, it may improve
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and give her the strength and energy to stay healthy. who's with me?! yay! the complete balanced nutrition of great tasting ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. ensure. take life in! ♪ welcome back. right now we are waiting for the casket bearing supreme court justice antonin scalia to arrive at the basilica of the national shrine of the immaculate conception from the u.s. supreme court. that's where scalia was lying in repose yesterday. 6,000 people, including president and first lady obama, filing past scalia's coffin yesterday. today a number of dignitaries will attend the funeral, including vice president joe biden who had a long relationship with scalia. also attorney general loretta lynch, republican presidential candidate ted cruz, once a
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supreme court clerk for justice rehnqui rehnquist, as well as retired supreme court justices and the widows of justices. chance thomas was scalia's soul mate on the bench, he will read a passage from the new testament at the service today. for more on what we will see once this funeral begins, let's bring in cnn anchor carol costello and cnn justice correspondent pamela brown as well as father edward beck. carol, first of all, set the stage for us, where you are, who you've seen come in so far, and what we're examining at the beginning of the service. >> reporter: literally hundreds of people streamed into the basilica so far, at the basilica in northeast washington. as you can see behind me, it's a quite a beautiful church. we're expecting justice scalia's casket to arrive at any time. of course the church service starts at 11:00 a.m. eastern time. we're expecting the casket to
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arrive at 10:45 eastern time. >> carol, i'll interrupt you for one second, i'm sorry. we're looking at live images right now of justice scalia's casket being taken from -- in a hearst from the u.s. supreme court on its way to the basilica. i'm sorry for interrupting, please proceed. >> reporter: oh, no worries. so it's just leaving the u.s. supreme court right now, and it's on the way here to northeast washington to the basilica. when it arrives here, the task will be taken out of the hearse. his sons will take the casket into the basilica, draped with a white cloth, symbolizing the baptismal gown. it will be a simple mass. part of it will be said in latin because that's what justice scalia preferred. i don't know if you've ever sat through a latin mass.
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it's one of the most beautiful proceedings i've ever experienced. i used to say latin masses a lot when i was a youngster but most catholic churches across the country have stopped doing that because they wanted to attract a younger crowd. 64 family members will be in attendance along with famous people like joe biden, ted cruz, dick cheney. the people streaming through right now are friends and family. we had a chance to talk to a few of them and their stories are touching about justice scalia and his family. one of them is a long-time friend of justice scalia. he has a son that's a judge in arlington. that's how they met. they often had dinner with the scalias. he's here to pay his respects. we talked to a high school teacher who is a friend of father paul scalia who will be saying the homily today. he teaches a lot of justice scalia's grandchildren, as you know, jake, jstice scalia has
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34 grandchildren. he's here just because the, you know, justice scalia was a lovely man and he wants to pay respects to a friend and a you can see on your screen justice thomas. he will be reading scripture in church along with another conservative friend of justice scalia, they'll be reading readings from the bible. and then of course the reverend paul scalia will take over, say the mass, and deliver the homily. i know there's no official eulogy, but having been to many catholic funerals, someonetimes someone stands up and says a few words. we don't have confirmation of that, but you never know, jake. >> we just saw clarence thomas. he'll be offering a reading as well. pamela brown, you cover the supreme court for us. leonard leo, head of the
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organization for policy and public law, will be offering a reading as well. ideologically they were very close on a legal basis. >> absolutely. and the fact that he was such a state your full na staunch conservative is really so much of who he is. it's no surprise he will be part of the service and his son paul as well. you can't imagine how emotional it must have been for his son, doing his duties as a priest, but also this is his father. so it must be very emotional. and it was really maremarkable, was at the supreme court all day and all night, and even when the doors were supposed to close at nine, they extended it for an hour because so many people came out. there were long lines, people waited for hours to go in and pay their respects. you had to basically extend it for several hours because there were so many people, 6,000 people showed up. and this was someone, as we know, we've been talking about, he was a conservative giant, not
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everyone agreed with his opinions. what was remarkable yesterday, some of the people who showed up said, i don't agree with his politics, but this was someone who gave 30 years of his life to service, to public service, and he really changed the way the justices looked at the law with his textualism and originalism believe. and what really stood out to me being out there was this makeshift memorial on the steps of the supreme court. and it wasn't a typical makeshift memorial. you would expect flowers, cards, but there was a jar of apple sauce and broccoli on the front steps. and that was a nod to justice scalia's colorful comments that he made during the affordable care act arguments, the apple sauce, you may remember in his dissent he said the majority's opinion was pure apple sauce. the broccoli was a famous part of the arguments during the first affordable care act case. >> jake, we just saw senato ted
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cruz sitting across the aisle, originally they said he would not attend but he's there right now. >> cruz was a clerk for justice rehnquist. father beck, i was reading a remembrance of justice scalia but one of his sons in the "washington post." it described the way that justice scalia attended church, how he attended church, sitting in the pew, and if he disagreed with something the priest was saying, he would turn to his family, he would shake his head. it sounds like he approached the laws of the church in the same way he approached the laws of the united states. >> i think that's very true, jake. i heard a comment of the justice, he was asked why he had nine children. and he said well, you know, i'm a good catholic and i played vatican roulette and the house won. he said, according to his catholicism, he did have nine children and they would go to
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mass, again, that latin mass at st. catherine church in glen falls, virginia. if he liked the mass he would compliment the priest afterward. he said, there's no such thing as a catholic justice. one quote that i read that i thought was very, very poignant. he said, the only article of faith that a justice has to pea attention to is thou shalt not lie. he believed as a justice he had to separate his faith from his jurisprudence. we know he was an originalist. he said that's what a judge must do, pay attention to the constitution. your faith guides your moral standing and guides your ethics and values. certainly when you read some of his opinions and some of his dissents you have to say his
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faith did get in in there a little, maybe same-sex marriage is one of those cases. even something like abortion, i'm intrigued that he could be against roe v. wade, but he also said the states should be able to decide. he wasn't an absolutist. he saw that the law is what was paramount. >> very interesting. carol costello, outside the basilica of the national shrine of the immaculate conception. carol? >> reporter: we just saw the supreme court police, you know, they have a number of officers here, they just got into formation. i'm going to check and see what's happening now. they went inside the church. we see them lining the steps over there, which means that justice scalia's coffin, casket, must be very close by. in fact i hear sirens in the distance right now.
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we respect it at any moment. ten or 15 minutes ago it left the great hall of the u.s. supreme court, it doesn't take long to get here to the basilica. people are streaming through. they have security set up on either side of the basilica. people are going through magnetometers. there are still people coming in, mostly families and friends right now. most of the famous friends of justice scalia are inside the basilica right now. we saw senator ted cruz go up the steps. he was alone and went into the service to pay his last respects. >> carol costello, outside the basilica. >> we're waiting for the casket to arrive. we saw it leave the u.s. supreme court in that hearse, heading to the basilica of the national shrine of the immaculate conception, the largest church in the united states. the family members will be there, a very impressive family
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as we've been pointing out, nine children, 36 grandchildren. among the pallbearers will be several of his sons. >> evening even, john, matthew, and christopher. his son paul, a priest, will be conducting the service. >> father beck made an interesting observation about how justice scalia's catholicism may have influenced his jurisprudence. it is also true that several of the more liberal justices in the history of the court, william brennan, sonia sotomayor, are also catholic and serious catholics. so the idea that your religion determines how you vote is not really proven to be the case at the supreme court. >> joan biskupic is at the basilica as well. joan, tell us what you're seeing. >> i don't think she's over there yet. she's here. joan is a biographer of antonin
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scalia. just give us a quick thought, what do you think his most important decision was on the nearly 30 years he served on the supreme court, the most important opinion he wrote? >> well, i would say, if you're talking about ones where he actually had the majority -- oh, good, you can hear me okay. wolf, i think it would have to be the 2008 heller case in which the supreme court for the first time said that the second amendment to the constitution does protect individual gun rights. justice scalia has written many, many opinions. some of his most colorful opinions have been dissents. the ones that charged up the right wing base have been dissents. when you're talking about majority opinions, he get a narrow five-justice group to landmark decision on gun rights. one of his early ones, though, that i'll just mention to you, in terms of dissents, was -- he
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came on in 1986, and in 1988 he was the lone dissent in a case that looked at a federal statute, he wanted to reject it when the majority wanted to uphold it. he had a memorable line that said, sometimes an issue like this comes clad in sheep's clothing, this wolf comes as a wolf. >> when we're talking about his judicial record, you can't talk about it without talking about his enormous hostility to the cause of gay rights. in every decision when he was on the court, he voted against the plaintiffs who were gay, whether it was the challenge to the defense of marriage act, whether it was marriage itself. and in very vituperative terms he talked about the court imposing its values, neutral
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values about gay people when in fact there were many people, he said, who regard homosexuality as immoral, those people deserved their views honored too. that's why he was not a hero in the gay community. >> i want to get father beck in for a moment. father beck, his eminence, the archbishop of washington, will be here at this service. also his excellency the most reverend carlo vigono, the apostolic nuncio, the representative of the vatican will be here as well. explain the significance, these are among the most important catholic representatives in the united states. >> yes, that's right, wolf. we have of course cardinal archbishop of washington, he'll give some opening comments. we also have the bishop of arlington, virginia, which is the diocese where father paul is a priest. he will be there as well.
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that's father -- >> laverde. >> exactly. then the appeostolic nuncio wil be there as well. we'll hear the cardinal's remarks in the beginning. jeffrey was just talking about justice scalia's stands with regard to same-sex marriage. his son paul, who will be presiding and preaching at this funeral, happens to be the chaplain of courage for the diocese of arlington, and for those who do not know, courage is an organization of gay catholics who believe that the only appropriate response to their orientation is abstinence. so his son, father scalia, is the shape lane for courage for gay catholics in that diocese. >> carol costello is there at
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the church. carol, i take it that the hearse and the special guests are arriving. >> reporter: yes, we believe the white vehicles, the one in the front, is the hearse. yes, it appears to be, they're taking flowers out. no. but the service is going to start very soon, because as you can see, the priests are assembling on tat alon the alta now. okay, these are not the hearses, that was a false alarm. it should arrive very soon because everybody is assembled. they're in formation, everybody is waiting. there's heavy security around the basilica right now. we do expect the hearse to
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arrive every moment. >> this is the basilica of the national shrine of the immaculate conception, where this mass of christian burial will take place. jake, there's been some discussion that the president of the united states was there yesterday at the supreme court to pay his respect as the body lay in repose but he's not attending today. vice president joe biden will attend. it's been a source of some discussion, as you know. >> that's right. some of the president's critics have said that this is an example of the president not reaching out to conservatives as he could and should at a time like this, a time of mourning. others say that as the president he should attend the funeral of every supreme court justice. the response from the white house, wolf, has been they thought president obama going to the service yesterday at the supreme court was more personal and a more meaningful way to do it.
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two, that vice president joe biden had a deeper relationship with justice scalia and they felt it more appropriate for have the biden to go. three, not everybody appreciates all that comes with a presidential visit including tremendous security, a lot of pomp, and that might not be appropriate or what a family wants at a moment like this. and lastly, i was referred to comments that a former clerk of justice scalia, ed whelan, a noted conservative in town, made, in which he said he didn't think it was inappropriate for the president not to attend today. like so many things in this town, it has become a political controversy. >> it certainly has. jeffrey, the white house yesterday said the president would spend the weekend with binders of potential nominees to succeed justice scalia. he will be busy looking at all of that. he hasn't supposedly come down
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with a short list yet. the criticism of the president is it would have been a gesture for him to come to the funeral because he would like to see the senate have hearings for whoever he nominates and approve whatever he nominates to be the next justice of the supreme court. >> one of our eagle-eyed colleagues blew up a photograph of president obama yesterday and a binder and he noticed it had nine tabs in it. it could be there were nine names that he's looking at. it could be a completely irrelevant fact that there are nine tabs there. but the white house was very clear yesterday in saying there is not yet a short list. they haven't brought anyone in to interview yet. it is a complicated process. the vetting alone to make sure there are no skeletons in the closet, that all the nanny taxes have been paid, all of that stuff is something that takes time. so it is not going to be an announcement this week. the president leaves for cuba i believe on march 20th.
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i would think before then would be a likely time for an announcement. but it's not going to be next week. and it probably won't be the week after either. >> let's bring in joan biskupic, supreme court reporter, as well as a biographer of justice scalia. joan, justice scalia replaced sandra day o'connor, so it's not necessarily a requirement that you share the exact temperament and philosophy of the person you're replacing. i wonder if justice scalia ever suggested who he may want to replace him should that day ever come. >> yes, jake, justice scalia actually replaced william rehnquist. what you're probably remembering is 2005 when the chief justice left. he came on in 1986, succeeding william rehnquist who was elevated. >> of course, sorry about that. >> one thing that will amuse
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you, he was actually interviewed by ronald reagan on a friday, and he thought it went well but he was very anxious about how it went because he had earlier try to get the u.s. solicitor general spot, that's the person who argues before the supreme court, and it had gone to rex lee instead. so that whole weekend, after antonin scalia was interviewed by ronald reagan, he didn't tell anyone but his wife, because he thought, i don't want to jinx it. sure enough, monday morning in '86, he was able to formally know that he would get the nomination. but in terms of your question of who he would want, he's not going to get somebody who is exactly like him but i'm certain he would want a conservative. wherever he is right now, he's thinking, darn, there's a chance that someone like ruth bader ginsburg is going to get my seat? he probably wouldn't want a really long process that would
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lead this very important institution of government open for months and months with just eight justices. he actually was quite a political man. >> and that's another thing. these are worldly, sophisticated people on the supreme court. they know exactly what the politics is of these appointments. they know that they retire, they make their decisions about when to retire in line with which president is in office. so the fact that john paul stevens and david souter left at the beginning of barack obama's presidency meant they knew they would be replaced by justices who were ideologically in line with them, and they were, with sonia sotomayor and elena kagan. these justices don't live in an ivory tower when it comes to politics, they know what the score is. >> and you would often go listen
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to the oral arguments made. unlike clarence thomas, who never asked questions, he was always very deeply involved in all of these issues, questioning people who were coming before him. >> normally right off the bat, wolf. it's almost as though he wanted to pounce, especially if a lawyer was unprepared, and i think jeffrey will agree with that. he changed oral arguments, before that it wasn't as energized and fiery. justice scalia changed that. he would ask questions, fiery questions. i think his absence will certainly be deeply felt on monday, wolf, when oral arguments resume and his chair is draped in black wool. i think he's going to be missed. i talked to carter phillips, who has argued in front of justice scalia more than any other private lawyer. he said when he was prepare before, he would keep in mind, okay, how is justice scalia going to come back at me, and he
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will be arguing again on tuesday, he said it's going to be profoundly different as a direct result of not being there on that bench. >> the hearse is about to arrive at the basilica of the national shrine of the immaculate conception. you see a lot of photographers and journalists waiting right in front of the church there. the casket will be brought inside. the service will begin, it looks like that motorcade bringing the casket is just arriving, jake. and this will be a formal ceremony, taking that casket in with the pallbearers on the scene. you know what, let's just listen and watch for a moment as this process begins.
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[ bell ringing ]
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